Thursday, 20 September 2012

My Favourite Walks...

North Exmoor, following the East Lyn

A perfect walk for a sunny autumn day, the walk from Brendon in Exmoor through Rockford and Watersmeet down as far as Lynmouth follows the East Lyn and is one of John’s favourite walks. In autumn   the route offers a gorgeous golden-brown backdrop to the flowing river complete with jumping salmon.

The walk between Brendon and Watersmeet, where the East Lyn and West Lyn come together, is the most tranquil section of the walk and the less treaded tracks are dotted with fisherman’s paths, which, if followed often lead to waterfalls where salmon can be seen leaping from the water (John has never failed to see them!). So a tip for those walking this route – explore any path that heads towards the river!

The riverside walks between Watersmeet and Lynmouth are more popular, which of course means that although there are more walkers about, naturally the underfoot conditions are friendlier.

Along the way there are two hearty country pubs, The Rockford Inn and The Staghunters Inn both of which offer accommodation. The Rockford Inn was included in ‘Best British Pubs’ providing accommodation by the Sunday Mirror, praising the combination of nature (including red deer and otters) with a warm, country welcome.

The walk is a dream for everyone from walkers to painters and photographers, with gorgeous colours and light surrounding the encapsulating movement of water over moss clad rocks and through picturesque bridges, which act as tripods for slow shutter speed shots or a place to rest for an afternoon’s painting.

The walk is best done as a linear route, John would advise walking downstream with the river on your left. The distance between Brendon and Lynmouth is just less than 12 miles as a return trip, so is perfect for a day’s walking, interrupted, perhaps, by some wholesome country grub. For a slightly more relaxed days walking, you can always turn around at Watersmeet, which leaves you with about half of that distance to walk.

So if you find yourself in Devon this autumn, why not find out for yourself why this is John’s favourite walk.